This 1880s corset has been part of the collection since the museum was founded, but it has never been displayed. It will be on view as part of the Undress exhibit, opening September 27, 2012.
The label inside reads Marie Grochovska, a Varsovie, Faubourg de Cracovie No 39.
Faubourg de Cracovie is now called Krakowskie Przedmieście. It is a prestigious street in Warsaw’s old city, and with such an address Madame Grochovska’s shop would have been stocked with only the finest money could buy. The corset is made of two layers of silk, the exterior a black brocade and the interior a pale blue moire. The maker’s name is also engraved on the busk.
The lightweight silk and whalebone combine to create a foundation garment responsible for the era’s strong silhouette.
We are thrilled to be bringing this garment out of storage and into a gallery.
Joanne Arnett, Curatorial Assistant